Diva Tasting: Keto Bread Sticks…

Keto Bread
8 Oz Cream Cheese Cube
1/2 Cup Parmesan
1/2 Cup Almond Flour
1 Egg Beaten
1 Teasp. Garlic Powder
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/3 Cup Butter Melted
1 Teaspoon Parsley Diced
1/8 Tbsp Parmesan
Mix and brush to the top of the dough before baking.
Mix all ingredients (except the egg) in microwave for one minute. Remove and mix well. Add beaten egg mix well and form a ball. Mash out flat like a pizza crust on a sprayed parchment lined baking sheet. Brush with the butter topping and bake at 400° for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown.

Diva AWOL….

We have been AWOL a lot lately.  Between floods and travel we have been on sensory overload.  I hope you are still checking in a lot and keeping us on your minds.  We need all of you for the energy boost you give us each day.  Namaste, The Queen Cronista….IMG_6323

Diva Tasting: Irish Lamb Stew…

Irish Lamb Stew
4 Slices Bacon, Chopped
2 Pounds Cubed Lamb Stew Meat
Sea Salt And Ground Black Pepper To Taste
2 Stalks Celery, Chopped
1 Red Onion, Chopped
4 Cloves Garlic, Chopped
2 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Rosemary
1 Tablespoon Chopped Fresh Thyme
1 Tablespoon Chopped Fresh Oregano
1 (12 Fluid Ounce) Can Or Bottle Irish Stout Beer; Divided
1 (14.5 Ounce) Can Fire-Roasted Diced Tomatoes, With Juice
4 Cups Beef Stock, Or As Needed
1 Cup Couscous Prepared
1 Pound Small Red Potatoes, Cubed
4 Carrots, Sliced
1 Rutabaga, Peeled And Cubed
1 (10 Ounce) Package Sliced Fresh Cremini Mushrooms
3 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour, Or As Needed
  1. Place the chopped bacon in a large pot over medium heat, and cook, stirring often, until the bacon is browned and crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon, leaving the drippings in the pot, and set aside.
  2. Sprinkle the lamb with salt and black pepper, and brown the meat well over medium heat in several batches in the bacon drippings. Do not crowd the pan or lamb won’t brown. Set the lamb aside. Stir the celery, chopped carrot, red onion, garlic, rosemary, thyme, and oregano into the bacon drippings, and cook and stir until the onion is softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Pour almost all the stout beer into the pan, but reserve about 1/4 cup in a small bowl and set aside. Bring the mixture to a boil, and cook until the stout beer has reduced by about half, about 10 minutes. Scrape up and dissolve any brown flavor bits in the bottom of the pot into the liquid.
  3. Stir the bacon and cooked lamb meat back into the stew; mix in the fire-roasted tomatoes with their juice, and pour in enough beef stock to cover. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for 1 hour and 45 minutes. Mix in the pearl barley, and simmer 15 minutes more. Stir in red potatoes, sliced carrots, rutabaga, and mushrooms, and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes.
  4. To thicken the stew, whisk flour into the reserved 1/4 cup of stout beer until smooth; stir the mixture into the stew, and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.  Serve with sour dough or Texas toast. 

Diva Tasting: Sweet Potato Muffins Dessert Or Breakfast….

Sweet Potato Muffins Dessert Or Breakfast
1 1/2 Cups Packed Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Canola Oil
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 Eggs
2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
2 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Freshly Grated Nutmeg
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Allspice
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
4 Cups Canned Shredded Sweet Potato
1/2 Cup Raisins (Optional)
1 Cup Chopped Walnuts
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease muffin tins to hold 12 muffins.
  2. Whisk together brown sugar, oil, vanilla and eggs in a small bowl.
  3. Mix together the flour, baking powder, spices, salt, and grated sweet potatoes in a large bowl. Make a well in the center, and pour in the egg mixture. Stir the egg mixture, gradually incorporating it with the flour mixture. Stir in the raisins and walnuts
  4. Spoon the batter into the tins. I like to fill each tin to the rim to make a large cap. Bake the muffins for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Take the muffins out of the oven and run a paring knife carefully around each muffin, then invert the pan, and knock one edge against your work surface to release the muffins. Serve the muffins right away.  Whip Cream or Vanilla Ice cream on side for desserts.

Diva Musing: Literary Updates….

I’m a bit of a literary snob all year round.  But tis the season for updates.  I’m not a fan of changing the Queen’s English but here you have it…..
2019 Words of the Year
Dictionary publisher Collins announces its word of the year on Thursday – and there’s no shortage of terms they could pick for 2019.
Every year, brand new words or phrases emerge to reflect the changes in society or technology. Selfie was invented with the rise of smartphones. Or Brexit, when a pithy term was called for to describe the UK’s departure from the European Union.
Collins Dictionary and the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) are both set to announce their words of the year soon. Contenders can be a brand new word, an old word that has made a comeback, or two existing words that have been joined together and taken on new meaning (like photobomb).
The OED says the chosen word should be “reflective of the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of this past year, but as having lasting potential as a word of cultural significance”.
The debate is one of the highlights of the year for Gyles Brandreth, co-host of Something Rhymes With Purple, a podcast all about language and its evolution.
Language is power, language is what defines us, makes us the people who we are,” he says. “We’re so blessed that the English language is our parent tongue, because it is the richest language in the world.
New words are coming into the language all the time and have been for thousands of years. Some very old words have survived a long time, some others have disappeared, and some new ones come along. And it’s always fun to discover which are the ones which have bubbled to the surface this year.”
Woke could be in with a shot this year. So could influencer. Phrases like cancel culture, where a celebrity’s career is damaged after saying something distinctly un-woke, may also be nominated. Changing gender norms and definitions could also see a term like non-binary recognised.
The Cambridge Dictionary has already announced upcycling as its own winner, based on which word resonated most with their Instagram followers.
The Guardian’s nominations, meanwhile, include femtech and sadfishing, but also a older words like pronoun (which it says “has become a signifier of the new gender politics”) and people.
People is a pretty ordinary word – and one with a long history… but the way the idea of ‘the people’ has been used over the past year, often cynically, makes it thoroughly contemporary,” wrote David Shariatmadari.
It’s also possible that something that isn’t even a word at all could again be named word of the year.
I was intrigued by the conversation that followed Oxford choosing the crying-with-laughter emoji as its word of the year [in 2015],” says lexicographer Susie Dent, Brandreth’s podcast co-host. “It sparked such controversy, people were up in arms saying, ‘It’s not a word, how could Oxford have dumbed down to this extent?’
But actually the OED’s answer was really interesting, because they said humans have been using pictorial representations of words for millennia. We have ancient hieroglyphics that show people have communicated through pictures, and who’s to say that emojis are any different? And they add nuance to words on a screen. I wouldn’t say it was my favourite word of the year by a long shot, but I loved the discussions that followed.”
Brandreth recalls some favourites of his own. “I loved Yolo when it came round,” he says. “YOLO!” he joyfully shouts down the phone a second time for effect. “Which means ‘you only live once’. I loved that one. And amazeballs, I liked that for a while.”
The Oxford English Dictionary selected toxic in 2018, a word which has been around since the mid-17th Century. The OED said the “sheer scope of its application” in recent years was notable because its use had increased dramatically in both literal and more metaphorical senses.
In 2017, it opted for Youthquake – a significant cultural, political or social change arising from the actions or influence of young people. Prior to that, it chose post-truthvape and the cry-laughing emoji.
Perhaps the most glorious winner, however, was omnishambles, which won in 2012 after its use by the bad-tempered spin doctor Malcolm Tucker in political comedy The Thick of It.
Collins Dictionary, meanwhile, has a habit of making two words its word of the year.
Sometimes this is a result of hyphenation, such as single-use last year. Ironically, the term has had a dramatic increase in use as concerns about the environment have been expressed in recent years.
Binge-watch, was victorious in 2015, as more and more viewers chose to watch their favourite TV shows in one sitting. But 2017’s winner, fake news, didn’t even have a hyphen, instead being two separate words that form a new term used regularly by US President Donald Trump.
Other previous Collins winners include photobomb and Brexit, which was naturally word of the year in 2016, when the UK voted in the EU referendum.
Speaking ahead of this year’s announcement, Dent says: “There’s one I’m hoping won’t win but I think could be a contender, and it’s from the 15th Century, so it’s a good example of a word that’s been revived.
Boris [Johnson, the prime minister] is always behind the revival of old words, like mugwump and so on. But this one was Parliament proroguing. I think prorogue will be on the shortlist this year, but it’s very very old.”
Of course, the development of language, which often involves traditional grammar going out the window, is the cause of irritation to some who care deeply about protecting the basic principles of English.
But both Dent and Brandreth say the evolution of language is precisely what excites them.
I’ve decided to be less irritated and more intrigued by the way that language changes,” says Dent. “But one of the things Gyles and I are always talking about on our podcast is how modern gripes are actually not so modern.
The ‘less’ and ‘fewer’ debate has been going on for centuries. And whether we say ‘nuclear’ or ‘nuc-u-lar’. ‘Aitch’ or ‘haitch’. And ‘disinterested’ and ‘uninterested’. Those terms have been confused for centuries.
My big bugbear used to be mischievous or mischievous, because people were putting an ‘i’ in to rhyme it with devious. I used to hate it, but now I’ve decided it’s a really fascinating snapshot of how pronunciation changes and leaves spelling behind.”
Follow us on Facebook, or on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts. If you have a story suggestion email entertainment.news@bbc.co.uk.

Diva Chilling: Lunch at the Table….

Heading for lunch at the new Table Coffee House on campus.  Convenient and all food from scratch.  Dessert today is my “Fig Cake with Caramel Sauce” posted a week or so ago.  A must have for the Holidays.  Yum, big time.  Namaste, The Queen Cronista